News, Views and People from the Russell Ulyatt Group

Christmas stockings for Emmanuel House
December 2018

Yet again, the team at The RU Group have dug deep to support the Emmanuel House Christmas appeal.

Emmanuel House provide support to homeless, vulnerable or isolated adults in and around the Nottingham area.

Staff filled socks with toiletries and goodies for the charity to distribute amongst homeless and vulnerable people in the local area.

Donations of food and clothing make a significant difference to the work of Emmanuel House.

A massive thank you to everyone who contributed.

Seasons greetings from all the team at The RU Group

We’d like to wish all our clients a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.  Cheers!

 

The RU Group bring a little Christmas cheer to vulnerable children in the East Midlands

The team at The RU Group have donated an incredible 220 selection boxes to locally based charity, Forget-Me-Notts.

Forget-Me-Notts is Operation Orphan’s UK based project designed to meet the specific needs of vulnerable children across the East Midlands.

At Christmas they give chocolate gifts to children who are in care or known to the care system locally. For many of these children this will be the only gift they receive. Reports back from social workers tell them that, although this may seem a small gesture, to the children it means such a lot.  It shows them they are not forgotten.

Thanks to the RU team, some of the region’s most vulnerable children will receive a little something this Christmas.

If you’d like to learn more about the charity, please click here

Staff at The RU Group presenting selection boxes to Cyrilyn Moore from Forget-me-Notts

 

 

Budget 2018 – The end to austerity takes shape
November 2018

Delivered on a Monday afternoon instead of the traditional Wednesday, between key meetings in the Brexit negotiations and amidst turbulent times in Westminster, you could be forgiven for losing track of the 2018 Budget.

Despite the disruption, the Chancellor’s statement brought more focus to the pledged ‘end to austerity’, along with details of an extra £20 billion in funding for the NHS.  Whilst many people were expecting tax rises, Mr Hammond’s job was made easier in the lead up to the Budget by updated forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility showing borrowing was £13 billion lower than expected.

One of the most high-profile announcements by Mr Hammond is a new digital services tax – dubbed the ‘Amazon tax’ by the media.  Targeted at large companies, the tax has been set at 2% of revenue derived from UK users through use of things such as search engines, social media platforms and online marketplaces.

Coupled with this tax, and with the UK high street reeling from various high-profile company failures, the Chancellor also announced a cut in business rates for smaller retail businesses.  From April 2019 retail property with a rateable value below £51,000 will see their bills cut by one third.  Local newspapers will receive a further £1,500 discount and even public lavatories will have a new 100% relief.

Not content with appealing to small businesses and the high-street, Mr Hammond also sought to win favour with larger-than-expected increases to the personal allowance and higher rate threshold.  Originally a part of the Conservative manifesto, the increases have been brought forward by a year – from April 2019 the personal allowance will increase to £12,500 and the higher rate threshold will be raised to £50,000.

Of course, while the Budget has been delivered, voices from all corners, including Mr Hammond himself, have warned that another Budget could soon be necessary.  Whether it’s a result of the Brexit negotiations or after a General Election, we may see changes to the country’s finances in the near future.

In the meantime, there could well be many popular aspects of this Budget.  Across the changes to income tax, the politically timely digital services tax, the ninth consecutive year of frozen fuel duties and various spending announcements across roads, high-street environments and tree-planting, it seems clear Mr Hammond wants his end of austerity to be believed.

Please click here to view our budget summary.

  • This communication is for general information only and is not intended to be individual advice. It represents our understanding of law and HM Revenue & Customs practice as at (29/10/2018). You are recommended to seek competent professional advice before taking any action.
  • Tax and Estate planning services are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  • The value of an investment and the income from it could go down as well as up. You may not get back what you invest.

 

RU baking for Macmillan
September 2018

A big thank you to the team at The RU Group for joining in Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

In true “Bake Off ” style, staff at The RU Group got busy cooking up some tasty treats for everyone to enjoy to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Macmillan understand how cancer can affect people’s whole lives – health, money, family, job, everything. And, after more than 100 years of caring, they understand that the most important thing is to treat people as individuals, not patients. They are on-hand to provide support to anyone and everyone living with cancer.

We were only too happy to support Macmillan by hosting a coffee morning to raise vital funds to help them continue their amazing work.

Here are a few pictures of the cakes we all enjoyed.

Special thanks go to our team of bakers.

 

OBR forecasts present need for tax increases in the Budget
August 2018

The long-term outlook for government finances suggests tax increases are inevitable.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) produces medium-term financial forecasts alongside the Budget and Spring Statement, but that is not its only task.  It is also required to take a longer-term view of the public finances, producing a Fiscal Sustainability Report every two years.

The latest version of the report was published in mid-July and did not make for comforting reading.  The graph is a good summary of the bad news:

  • The purple lines show the projected government borrowing as a percentage of the size of the UK economy.  In 2017/18 annual borrowing was 1.9% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). By 2067/68 it becomes 85.6%.
  • The green line shows the total amount of government debt, also as a proportion of the UK economy.  As at May 2018, total borrowing was 85.0% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). By 2067/68 it becomes 282.8%.

In the report, the OBR says, “Needless to say, in practice policy would need to change long before [2067/68] to prevent this outcome.”  That means reduced expenditure and/or increased taxation.

Reductions in expenditure are unlikely, as much of the rise is driven by the costs of caring for an ageing population.  In the short term, increasing taxes is also hard to imagine given the current political climate.  In the longer term, tax rises appear unavoidable based on the OBR’s calculations.  The first indications of what form tax rises might take could emerge when the Chancellor gives his response to the OBR in the Autumn Budget.

If you are looking for any solace, it is best sought in mathematics: these types of long-term projections are highly sensitive to relatively small changes in the underlying assumptions.  If the UK economy were to grow faster than the 2.2% the OBR has assumed, the situation improves significantly.  Alas, the opposite is also true.

With the UK’s growth rates remaining low, however, it seems likely the government will need to take some kind of action soon.

  • The value of tax reliefs depends on your individual circumstances.
  • Tax laws can change.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate tax advice.